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Mike Kaine, MD Written by Erin D. Updated on 14 Jan 2024
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Hair Transplant Procedure

Mike Kaine, MD

This text was written according to the highest scientific standards and reviewed by medical experts. Find out more about our quality assurance.

Written by Erin D. Updated on 14 Jan 2024

When considering a hair transplant, most people only think about the surgical procedure. The pre-treatment, which lays the foundation for a successful hair transplant, and the post-treatment, which among other things ensures the long-term success of the treatment, are often neglected. How does the whole process look like? And what should you consider in any case?

Pre-surgery and consultation

The detailed consultation and complete anamnesis of the hair loss are essential for the later success of the hair transplantation. During the initial consultation, the hair surgeon checks for the necessary conditions for hair transplantation.

In patients who got a hair transplantation without a previous consultation and without analysis of their hair loss, the success is short-lived and the hair looks unnatural after only a few years.

Reasons for a hair transplant

In addition, there are types of hair loss where hair transplantation is not appropriate e.g., alopecia areata. Therefore, a complete hair loss analysis before hair transplantation is essential.

The consultation lasts up to an hour and includes various techniques to analyze the individual hair loss situation. By means of special microscopic photography techniques e.g., the TrichoScan, the hair in the donor area and the recipient area is assessed according to number, color, thickness, structure and direction of growth.

In addition to an analysis of your current hair loss, an attempt is also made to predict future hair loss. A common method is using the family history, since in the case of androgenetic alopecia, the hair loss of older relatives often allows conclusions to be drawn about the future course of a patient’s hair loss. If, for example, pronounced receding hairlines are already present at a young age, the probability is high that a tonsure will form over time.

During the consultation, the patient is also informed about the predicted hair transplant result, the treatment method, possible side effects and risks.

You should also use the consultation to get to know the doctor or clinic in more detail. Through a consultation you can get an impression of the quality and competence of the hair surgeon.

Many hair surgeons and clinics do not offer a free consultation. This is because in most cases there is no medical necessity for a hair transplant and therefore the costs are not covered by health insurance. Often, the consultation costs are offset by the costs of the subsequent hair transplantation.

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Before the operation, a marker pen should be used to draw the desired hairline. As a rule of thumb, the distance between the bridge of the nose and the hairline should be at least 7 centimeters. A deeper hairline looks unnatural.

In many cases, photos of the hair are taken so that a before-and-after comparison is possible. The surgery is performed under local anesthesia.

The actual operation is divided into four steps: removal of the hair groups or hair strip, preparation of the hair follicles, preparation of the recipient area and insertion of the hair follicles.


The surgery takes between 4-6 hours. The course of the procedure, especially the removal of hair follicles, depends on the specific hair transplant method chosen.


Hai Transplant FUT or FUE

Graft Extraction

  • In the FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) method, a strip of skin (“donor strip”) is cut from the donor area, which is then dissected into the natural hair groups. The size of the skin strip depends on the size of the recipient area. After removal of the skin strip, the wound is sutured or stapled.
  • For the FUE method (Follicular Unit Extraction), the removal area must be shaved bald before the operation. In most cases, the entire head is shaved. In the FUE method, a maximum of 15 follicle groups per square centimeter are extracted so that the hair in the donor area remains full. First, the hair groups are separated from the dermis with a thin hollow drill (0.8 – 1.2 mm) and then extracted with tweezers. The micro scars heal seamlessly and independently within a few days. The the size of the extraction punch is dependent on the thickness of the hair and the hair type, e.g. afro hair or straight hair.
svg Our tip

We have found in our current hair transplantation cost study that not only are there large price differences between the individual providers, but also significant differences in quality. Therefore, you should comprehensively inform yourself in order to reduce the risks. Our experts will be happy to help you and inform you about the results of the study: Request results now

Hair follicle preparation

In the next step of the FUT method, the skin strip is dissected under the microscope into the individual hair groups. With the FUE method, the hair groups are examined under the microscope for injuries and, if necessary, separated out. During preparation, the skin strip and the individual hair groups are stored in a Petri dish with a cooled and sterile solution.


Preparation of the recipient area and insertion

After that, the recipient area is prepared. For this purpose, small receptor tubules are attached with a hollow drill or a laser. The diameter of each channel depends on the number of hair follicles in the intended hair group.  The tubules are attached with different diameters. The angle of the tubules should correspond to the natural hair growth direction.

The grafts at the hairline are important in determining whether the hair transplant will later appear natural or artificial. Bad hair transplants are recognizable by the pearl necklace effect or hair plug effect. This effect can be avoided by transplanting single hairs or hair groups with a maximum of 2 hair follicles at the hairline. In addition, the previously defined hairline should be broken through as irregularly as possible.

In the last step, the grafts are inserted into the recipient tubules using tweezers.

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Although there are few side-effects associated with a transplant, the latest medihair hair transplant statistics also examines the most common complaints after a hair surgery and the percent of patients who experience them:

Most common complaints after a hair transplant

Directly after a hair transplant, a forehead-tape is applied around the patient’s head. The tape prevents bruising and swelling in the facial region. The recipient area remains open and is not covered with a bandage, as this could tear the graft out again when it is removed.

If the patient feels pain in the removal area, painkillers can be administered. Many patients also experience a feeling of tension and numbness in the donor and reception area after the operation.

From the third day after the operation, the hair can be washed carefully with a mild shampoo. Most patients are able to continue on with day-to-day activities after five to seven days.

With the FUT method, the stitches in the donor area are removed two weeks after the operation. One week after the operation, sports can be practiced again. However, direct sunlight should be avoided for up to two months after the operation.

Since hair transplantation does not stop hair loss, it may be advisable to treat hair loss with medication after the hair transplantation e.g., finasteride or minoxidil.

The transplanted hair follicles will initially fall out after the hair transplantation. After about three months, new hair will start to grow back. A first representative result is visible after 8 months. The final result after 12 months.

Growth after hair transplantation

Before and After hair transplant

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Where is hair transplantation possible?

Hair transplantation offers are a dime a dozen. Furthermore, the regional price differences are high. Therefore, get an overview of the offers now and compare the hair surgeons in United Kingdom, US or Turkey based on experiences of real patients, costs and treatment methods:

Is your preferred city or country not included? No problem, you can easily request an overview of all suitable offers. Would you like to learn more about hair transplantation? Then inform yourself now in our guide!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a hair transplant last?

How long does the hair transplantation procedure take?

What is the best hair transplantation method?

Do and don'ts after hair transplant?



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